Sunday, July 24, 2016


Back in my 20's, I took my first trip abroad to Hongkong.  In those days, airline promo fares were non-existent and travel was a luxury even for my middle class family. It was for work and my boss had generously booked me a business class seat ( jackpot!). I made sure to prepare everything ahead of time. 
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On the day of the flight, everything that could go wrong went wrong. I couldn't get a cab for about an hour. On the way, a truck had fallen over and traffic stood still for three hours.  And it was before the advent of the mobile phone so I had no way of calling my boss who, I was very sure, would fire me the next time she sees me. StillI plodded on and after 5 hours, I got to the airport. The plane had left and I was left on my own to re-book my flight, contact my boss and get my ass to Hongkong. I did all that while think up ways of how to beg and grovel at my boss' feet when I finally see her.

It was already dinner time when I finally reached Kai Tak Airport. I was going to have to find the hotel on my own, have my dollars changed to the local currency and check in with the Manila office to see if my boss had fired me and I should just go straight back to Manila. Hungry, I saw a Watson's stall and picked a box of the only thing that looked good to me- a box of pretzels dipped in chocolate. Pocky.

The name sounded funny, like the Filipino word for vagina. But I didn't want to spend any of my money as there was still a chance that  I was already jobless. I bought the box and just like in a TV commercial, the first bite just made me smile.  Things went right after that. I found a kind cab driver who could speak in English, and when I got to the hotel, my boss was in a good mood and didn't fire me.  Pocky had become like my lucky-charm and feel-good food.

Just today, I got boxes of Pocky's new flavors: Matcha, Cookies & Cream and, Banana.

The Matcha flavored pretzel sticks approximates the non-commercial taste of the green tea chocolates you find in Japanese wet markets like Tsukiji. I'm not a big fan of matcha chocolate but this one has that right after taste, a mix of slight bitterness from the tea which balances the sweetness of the chocolate.

The Cookies and Cream variant is just your regular chocolate dip, the cookies are too small (since the sticks are too thin to hold anything bigger than a grain of salt). Not very exciting for me. But if you're a fan of this combination, you'd probably like it. 

The Banana-flavored variant is my favorite among the three. It tastes and smells like Tokyo Banana, a sponge cake that is popular as a souvenir sweet in Japan. This is a treat for sweet-toothed snack lovers. 

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